Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

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Rained Out in Niagara & on to Letchworth

Friday July 1 & Saturday July 2, 2016                                                Most Recent Posts:
Letchworth State Park                                                                         Boating and Hiking at Niagara Falls
Perry, New York                                                                                  Niagara Falls at Last




We had planned to go over to the Canadian Side this morning to see what the lovely not so developed views look like back over to the US side but the weather had other ideas.  Rain had been predicted but we had our fingers crossed.  No luck.  It rained all morning then quit around noon but showers were predicted at 1:00 and 2:00 so we trusted them and threw in the towel.  Of course 1:00 came and 2:00 came and all it did was spit.

But it was really really windy.  I've got my feet braced in this picture  so I don't get blown backwards. Some of you may recognize my 'can't throw them out pants', all my clothes are being blown backward.   I got forced to the side.  Nice hair style huh?






Waves and white caps near the shore. Can't imagine what it must be like in the middle of Lake Ontario today OR on the Maid of the Mist near the falls in Niagara.



We quickly decide to get out of the wind and into the trees by hiking the trails here in Four Mile Creek.



There are a number of really big trees in the park.


There are also some lovely wetlands.  I'd like to kayak these if it were possible but we are leaving tomorrow.




This is an amazing job of stablizing on the part of this tree.  It looks like a leg going down the side of the hill.  You can see beneath it.



We're back just in time to gather on the "lawn" with our neighbors to see the sun fall into the dark clouds awaiting it .






We also have a huge backyard where I wish we'd had time to play ladder ball.  I really like Four Mile Creek State Park.  We would have stayed longer but I couldn't book Saturday night so we're off to Letchworth State Park tomorrow.






Our drive today is only 80 miles but it seems like it takes forever on two lane roads with 35 mph speed limits through all the little towns.  We still aren't able to use the tow dolly since the wheel and rim aren't really right and we don't want to take any chances with weight.  We hope to get it all replaced before the 30 day warranty runs out.  But for now I'm driving Ruby and David is driving Winnona.



Letchworth State Park in Perry New York is famous for being "The Grand Canyon of the East".  That's a big name to live up to.  It does have a 17 mile canyon that averages a mile in width and is 550 feet deep at its deepest point.  The canyon is  part of the 14,342 acres preserved in the park.

There are several entrances to the park but the best one to use for accessing the campground is the Perry entrance.   The campground is just beyond it.  There are 270 campsites here in 8 loops.  The sites have electric but no water is at each site.  There are water spigots for take on at several  spots in each campground.  There is also a triple dump site so hopefully less waiting.   Each loop has a bathroom.  They aren't new, but they are fine.

The biggest and most level spots seem to be in the back of each loop.  That's something you only find out AFTER you get here.  We don't have one of those so we get out our horse mats and some blocks for the jacks and level Winnona up.

We've put the dolly just down from our site, on the left in this picture.   That's our driveway on the bottom left so we just pulled Winnona up, took off the dolly.  Pulled up a little more to that post also on the left and filled up with water then drove around the circle and back to our site.   You can see the loops are on the hill side.  The building in this picture is the bathroom.


Another thing we didn't know until we got here is that poison ivy is rampant including all along the driver's side edge of our campsite.  Luckily they have somehow kept it far enough away from the electric post and we were able to pull the rig far enough over to leave a wide space for walking.



But the stuff is thick here, almost like ground cover.



Once we are set up and get something to eat we go over to the visitor's center and administration building.  Mostly the visitor's center is a window you can go to and ask question.  The rest of the building is offices on one side and a gift shop on the other.

We buy a copy of their trails guide since the one provided is photocopied and tiny with no detail at all.  We also buy a copy of their "driving guide" which is also photo copied.   Each guide costs $6.50.  Pretty high for what you get but we consider it a donation to the Friends of Letchworth.

Hats off to the park or the state or whomever approved a roof of solar panels.



First time I've seen this sign.  Wonder how it works with no trash cans anywhere in the park other than dumpsters in the campground.  Guess we'll find out.



The visitor's center and most of the trails and water falls are 9 miles from the campground so this park requires a lot of driving.  There isn't much at all in the north end where the campground is other than the damn dam.

We stop for our first views of this Grand Canyon of the East and they are impressive.  But to call it THE Grand Canyon of the East is a little much.  It may be the grandest canyon in the east but THE Grand Canyon is 277 rather than 17 miles long, up to 18 miles rather than one mile wide and attains a depth of over a mile rather than 550 feet.

Still it is absolutely beautiful.  And I'll bet it looks amazing in the fall with the colors.  Unfortunately for us there has been a drought in this part of New York and the river is very very low so we aren't going to get to see its power or kayak it.  I'm pretty shocked at the idea of a drought anywhere in the east after all the rain for the past year that we seem to have had every where we've gone.






Time to head back and read the trail guide to decide where we'll go tomorrow to see more of this green green gorge carved by the Genesee River beginning 11,000 years ago.  That's 110 life times ago IF everyone lived to be 100!


  1. Your campsite at the first place looks really lovely. I'd be pretty irritated by all the poison ivy around, although I haven't had a case of it since I was a small child and am probably not susceptible to it.

    I am getting an irresistible yen to go camping, and hope that Alaska can help some of that with spending time in a cabin, if not a tent. I am definitely going to set up my tent in September if at all possible, even if I have to drive across a couple of states to get away from smoke and fires!

  2. Interesting story about the Grand Canyon of the East. I had to go searching because I thought maybe we were there, but ours was in Pennsylvania. Geez! So with further research, I discovered that our Grand Canyon of the East was actually the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Made me laugh. Everyone is trying to be the grandest canyon. But of course nothing really compares. Your grand canyon looked lovely in the sunshine, ours was all rainy when we were there in 2010. Yeah, that poison ivy would keep me away for sure, I am NOT resistant to that stuff. Glad you guys don't get it bad. I don't dare even look at pictures! LOL Some of our Oregon State Parks have only one dumpster in the main area where you check in and no other garbage cans. Seems to work OK.

  3. I agree, it is a grand canyon all right, and it is in the east, but should not be compared to THE real Grand Canyon. It pales in that comparison but is however wonderful in its own right. Great trees and trails and water falls. Be sure to come when the water us up if you can arrange that. We were not so lucky in that regard. It will be interesting to see how the Carry In - Carry Out policy works ... some people are not so thoughtful about taking care of their own trash it appears.

  4. Enjoy your time there:) There is a lot of poison ivy! Check out our post on Letchworth and the hike we did. There are HUNDREDS of steps!

  5. We stayed at the same State Park as you. . .it was our first experience ever of not having water at the site. ..we got all hooked up before we figured it out and of course we had hardly any water in the holding tank. Thankfully the spigot was within 100 ft and we had enough hose to hook up and fill the holding tank for our week's stay. . .

    Was always puzzled by the statement of the falls being more beautiful from the Canadian Side. . .I guess I get it now after reading your posts. . .I wasn't considering the backdrop. . .only the falls themselves. . .makes sense I guess that the park setting on the American Side would be considered more beautiful. . .

    We are at Roanoke/Lynchburg. . . not too far from your homeplace.

  6. Love your windy-look - that's how it felt at the top of the pass here yesterday. Those are some really massive trees! It would be wonderful to see a time-lapse of how that one on the hill grew its "leg". I'm less bummed that I couldn't make Letchworth work on our route now that I know there's poison ivy and uneven sites. Will enjoy seeing it through your eyes instead. Hope the dolly is fixed soon.

  7. The wind seems to be everywhere, we've had lots of it out here in the west too. I was at Letchworth back in the early 80's, one of those geology field trips, sure doesn't compare to The Grand Canyon but it still a nice place to visit.

  8. The first day was Canada Day, and we did get some of that rain here- with lighting flashing during an evening concert- but we're in a state of moderate drought at the moment, just like the Letchworth area. I haven't seen that canyon, but it's a beauty!

    The Great Lakes can be unforgiving in bad weather. A lot of ships have gone down there.

  9. have you been to the grand canyon of Pennsylvania? It to is nice but maybe not so grand

  10. That was some serious wind!! I've never heard of the "Grand Canyon of the East" — it's certainly pretty. But as you said, not exactly on the same scale as that other Grand Canyon. :-) I can tell you that "pack it in pack it out" didn't work at the state campground on Lopez. It didn't even last one season. Of course, we're talking about an island, and people camping for several days or longer, and having to take a ferry to leave the island. It was a an ill-conceived idea, to say the least. Oh, and CRAZY poison ivy at your campground! Scary.

  11. I loved your earth friendly blow dryer! :cD

  12. Yikes, the wind looked wild! That certainly looks like a nice area to visit!

  13. OMG, that wind is horrific. That Eastern Grand Canyon is nice but other than dealing with drought no comparison to the real deal. An no poison ivy.

  14. I think the wind is making its rounds all over the state. A branch near Betsy broke up after a gust of wind and barely misses her.
    We have not been to this state park, so am looking forward to your hikes and pictures.
    There are a few parks here out west with the same "carry in. carry out" and it seemed to have work.

  15. Just noticed today that you were in Niagara. would have loved the opportunity to visit and take you to dinner (or have you in for dinner).

  16. A lot of wind and a definite drought-pretty nonetheless, although I wouldn't say it quite matches up to The Grand Canyon. That is a lot of poison ivy - I wonder if all the campers recognize it for what it is - hope so because that would not be fun to realize after-the-fact!


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